Education

Hartford Mayor Heads Board

By Catherine Gewertz — January 03, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Connecticut district gets new governance twist.

Giving life to the old saw that if you want a job done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, the mayor of Hartford, Conn., is now doubling as the chairman of the city’s school board.

His addition of that new role last month was the final piece in a series of changes that have governance as the struggling district of 24,000 students moves back from state management to local control.

BRIC ARCHIVE

And it could stand as a national first. Experts say they know of no other city in which the mayor also heads the school board.

For the past three years, Hartford’s mayor has appointed three of the seven board members. Now, as called for by a change to the city charter, the panel has expanded to nine members: four elected, and five picked by the mayor.

Mayor Eddie A. Perez chose himself and four others to fill his seats. They were sworn in Dec. 6, and the board unanimously chose the mayor as its new chairman.

For Mr. Perez, it’s just one more step in his long-standing push to improve the schools. He said in a recent interview that he talked with a half-dozen strong candidates to lead the board, but wasn’t confident any of them could “give it 100 percent.”

“I’m willing to provide that leadership, because it’s needed,” he said. “This means that the buck has to stop in my office.”

Mr. Perez said he assumed the chairmanship because the district faces pivotal issues this year, including deciding on a superintendent, moving forward on a big facilities project, shifting to a K-8 configuration for the grades before high school, and managing school finance litigation.

He plans to remain as chairman only until “a firm foundation” is laid, which could be six months to a year, or longer “if needed,” he said.

Douglas McCrory, a Democratic state representative who is also the assistant principal at Hartford’s Simpson-Waverly Elementary School, said he welcomes a change that could help the district schools. But he’s also worried that the mayor’s two hats could give him too much power.

“When you start combining them together, it might be too much influence by one person,” he said.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read